NPA leader killed in Camarines Sur clash with gov’t troops

LEGAZPI: A high-ranking official of the New People’s Army (NPA) was killed in an encounter with government troops in Tinambac, Camarines Sur on Monday, the 9th Infantry Division (9ID) of the Philippine Army said Tuesday.

In a report, Maj. Frank Roldan, 9ID Public Affairs Unit chief, identified the slain rebel as Vergel Balcueva (alias Disan/Joey/James), leader of the Front Operational Command of Sub-Regional Committee-2.

“The exchange of gunfire lasted for 10 minutes before Balcueva was abandoned by his fleeing comrades. An M16 rifle and personal belongings were also left at the site,” he said.

Roldan said Balcueva was also listed as a wanted person for multiple charges, including two attempted murders, two frustrated murders, illegal possession of firearms, ammunition and explosives, and violation of Republic Act 9851 or the Philippine Act on Crimes Against International Humanitarian Law, Genocide and Other Crimes Against Humanity.

“No injuries or other fatalities were reported by either the government o
r the residents in the area,” he added.

Roldan said after Balcueva’s death, the 9ID expects the remaining NPA members to surrender and return to the government, further decreasing the group’s strength.

He said the government continues to conduct military operations to ensure public safety and prepare for the upcoming national and local elections.

In a statement, 9ID Commander Maj. Gen. Adonis Bajao encourages the public to continue cooperating with the authorities and to report any suspicious activity.

“Your solidarity is important in maintaining order and suppressing insurgency in our community,” Bajao said.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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